Nov 10

CBC Winnipeg Targets Family Owned Startup Over Half-Baked Gripe About Racist Typo

Tasteless to the extreme...

Tasteless to the extreme…

Halloween has passed, and as this site predicted on October 2nd, the media was overflowing with criticism of politically incorrect costumes- the CBC published almost a dozen. CBC Regina reported on a teacher who was “really surprised” an American company sold “inappropriate” costumes and subsequently showed them to her elementary school students. CBC BC reported on a Thompson Rivers University social work instructor who claims he noticed the problem shopping with his sister and nieces.

CBC News showcased a Toronto protest led by a couple who assisted a defrocked United Church minister as he lied to Six Nations elders about discovering a mass grave of residential school children, and a woman who assisted as he pulled the bones out of his pockets at an Occupy Toronto meeting. All three stood by him long after APTN proved they were animal bones (a story I proudly assisted with). Annett was one of the most notorious cultural appropriators in Canadian history.

Most of the CBC’s stories focused on a couple of large-scale seasonal costume retailers. They were textbook examples of lazy and uncreative journalism but – to be fair – the company’s decisions to market products with names like “Reservation Royalty” is tasteless to the extreme. CBC Winnipeg took a different approach, attacking a family-owned startup for selling a relatively innocent kids costume. Adding insult to the injury of putting the owner’s fledgling new business at risk- the story focussed on a mistake, an allegedly racist typo on costume’s price tag.

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Nov 04

Interactive Chart: Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet

This chart is a work in-progress outlining Justin Trudeau’s new Cabinet ministers and their external relationships. Click on a person or organization for more information, click on the link between them for info on how they connect, hover over them to expose their relationships- you can zoom in/out with your mouse scroll wheel, or using the “+/-” buttons on the chart.

For a larger format of the chart please click here

Please send me a message is there’s anything you think I should add to it: grenouf(at)

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Oct 23

Toxic Feminism Part I: Occupy, Antonia Zerbisias, Gregory Alan Elliott, And Petty Vandalism

Now that's my kind of feminism!

Now that’s my kind of feminism!

I take great pride coming from a family of strong women, they might not have called themselves feminists, but that’s how I saw them. My maternal grandmother was a real-life Rosie the Riveter who welded aluminum fighters and bombers during WWII. My paternal grandmother was a technical draftsperson who continued working after the war- helping the UK Army design machine guns, military vehicles, and the infamous rubber bullet.

One of my earliest memories was going to the bank with my mom when she went to apply for a mortgage. Years later she explained to me how the manager was incredibly resistant, Canadian banks didn’t give mortgages to women back in the early 70’s. She resisted and fought back hard, they eventually gave in and she became one of the first women in the country to be issued a mortgage in her name alone.

Feminism was borne out of a fight for freedom- the right to vote, the right to own property, and the ability to get a mortgage to buy it with. My grandmother’s feminism – through the airplanes and guns they helped create – saved the world from the horrors of fascist regimes.

I know contemporary feminists who are making an important difference- one whose contributions leave me in awe. I’m not an enemy of feminism, I’m an ally; that said, Canada is ground zero for a new form of the movement- and it’s toxic.

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Oct 17

Green Party Candidate Funds Racist’s Astroturf Attack On First Nation’s Democracy (Feat. Lisa Barrett)

Elizabeth May: Wolf in sheep's clothing...

Elizabeth May: Wolf in sheep’s clothing…

Correction: This story mistakenly said Flores Island is on the East coast of Vancouver Island, it’s on the West.

Elizabeth May and the Green Party have made indigenous issues at the centre of all they do. May tells us that a Green government would work tirelessly to accelerate First Nations reconciliation, prioritize land claim and treaty negotiations, honour Canada’s fiduciary responsibilities, to always act “in good faith”- and, most importantly, that the Greens will respect native sovereignty like no government ever has.

Greens work hard to demonstrate their heartfelt respect for First Nations, often opening their meetings and media events with indigenous women drummers singing traditional songs. Greens feel it’s important to start off their speeches by first acknowledging they’re standing on the local First Nation’s territory. When May stepped up to the stage at this years Press Gallery awards, her first words were a vulgar attack on earlier speakers for their non-compliance:

“like what the fuck was wrong with the rest of you and you didn’t notice you were standing on traditional territory!”

But while Green’s and environmentalist’s enthusiastic support might indeed be powered by love, it’s conditional, and no less paternalistic than the Hudson Bay Company. Their movement’s respect for indigenous sovereignty terminates the moment a First Nations community’s priorities deviate from their own. Their response is to use the oldest trick in the colonist’s cookbook- identify angry, weak, and/or corruptible locals and get them to work on your side.

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Oct 02

Old Stock Canadian Appropriates Native Voices, Leads Dubious Montreal Pipeline Protest

Amanda Lickers: Most hypocritical pipeline protest ever?

Amanda Lickers: The most unlikely poster girl for appropriation of indigenous voice…

Amanda Lickers is a “anarchaqueer Onkwehon:we cis-woman” from the Turtle Clan of the Onondowaga nation; her interests include “combating ecocide, hating the police, and harvesting medicines.” When she’s not using protests and rallies as opportunities to attack the police, Amanda works towards “dismantling all systems of oppression” by paradoxically “slashing at their social, cultural and material infrastructures.

Amanda works with Rising Tide Toronto, many of the same fine people who brought violence to the streets of Toronto during the 2010 G20. As a spokesperson for their protests, she plays a valuable role deflecting the media from asking questions like “how can a group consisting of 99% ‘settler allies’ have the audacity to claim they speak on behalf of entire indigenous communities,” and “why are there so many convicted G20 organizers here?”

Lickers was in the news again last week after emitting 600 kilometers of carbon traveling to fight “ecocide” in Montreal. She and fellow protesters interrupted a National Energy Board consultation on the Energy East pipeline. Standing on First Nations land unrelated to her home at the Six Nations, Amanda was an interesting choice of spokesperson- why wasn’t there someone local? Could it be that she’s following her established tradition of appropriating the voices of indigenous people outside her own community?

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